Ezenkosi share spoils with Stars

2012-02-25 20:57

Jomo Cosmos (1) 2
Free State Stars (0) 2

If Jomo Cosmos are to avoid the drop back to the National First Division, they will need to know how to defend a lead.

They squandered a 2-0 lead and allowed the visitors to storm back into action and steal a point.

This was Cosmos’ third consecutive draw since the restart of the season and time is fast running out for them to start picking up maximum points.

Although a point is still better than nothing, they could have done a lot better and the two lost points might come back to haunt them come end of season.

This was a scrappy affair as both teams were clearly not intent on playing ball. The less said about the officiating the better as they failed to stamp their authority, thus resulting in players taking matters into their hands.

Cosmos captain Avril Phali has been leading by example and just like he saved his team against Mamelodi Sundowns, he once again stole the show here with some stupendous saves between the sticks.

If Ezenkosi are going to survive relegation, they will need Phali’s experience and leadership from the back.

The ageing goalkeeper twice denied Stars’ lethal striker, Edward Manqele, and Sadate Akoriko in the first half.

Even though he was later beaten in the second half, he still made the difference.

Africa Cup of Nations hero Kennedy Mweene seemed to still be in a celebratory mood as he should have done better to stop Cosmos’ opening goal in the first half.

The Zambian goalkeeper was caught out of line by his defender Sadate Ouro-Akoriko’s back pass for a needless own goal in the 29th minute.

Mweene should have committed a professional foul by handling the ball, which would have resulted in an indirect free kick and a caution.

But his attempt to clear the ball with his head was in vain as the ball sailed into an empty net to give the home team the lead.

Stars did not deserve to go to the break trailing as they were clearly the better side in the first half. But if that was not enough, they were stung by Matthew Rusike’s goal immediately after the recess.

Instead of shutting the back door, Cosmos allowed the visitors back into the game when they gave substitute Tshidiso Mosikidi a chance to rattle score to pull one back for Stars two minutes later.

The goal was what the Free State team needed as they then launched a wave after wave of attack.

Soon Stars were back in the game when Dove Wome’s thunderous shot on the edge of the box kissed the back of the net to level matters in the 67th minute.

The two teams tried hard to force a winning goal, but it was not to be and had to settle for a draw.

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